Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Soulacoaster Reviews

As a general rule, I am usually slightly wary of albums by producers that feature nearly as many different vocalists as it does songs. In a lot of cases the result is disjointed, confusing and difficult to listen to as a whole. Thankfully this is not the case with Soulpersona’s Soulacoaster.

In many ways this album reminds me of Eric Lau’s (masterpiece) New Territories. Rather than simply filling the album with beats and picking so-so vocalists to sing a hook on top, Soulpersonahas chosen the vocalists carefully and has held back from over-producing the songs. The balance between production and letting the vocalist shine is just right.

I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with many of the vocalists on this project. I have albums by Deborah Jordan and Darien, and i’ve heard a few tarcks by Replife but that is about it. However I will definitely be checking for each and every one of them from now on, especially Kia Bennett whose ‘So Natural’ is one of my favourite cuts on the album.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending this album to anyone who is a fan of soul, funk, jazz or hip-hop. All elements are expertly combined and the result is an album you can put on repeat and happily listen to all day (I should know, I’ve done it!).

Review by Souluk

Soulful music from Soulpersona -- a warm and just smooth enough ride on the Soulacoaster! Soulpersona is the producer, arranger and instrumentalist behind the curtain -- a genuine talent who has attracted an impressive roster of singers and collaborators for this set -- including Sibel Thrasher of the legendary Roy Ayers Ramp group -- plus Deborah Jordan, Darien of Reel People, Kia Bennett, Replife and Juliet Ashby. This is a fresh, timeless modern take on classic and cosmic soul, with a breezy and moving sound, bits of 70s soul jazz and keyboard funk and programmed beats with real heart and soul! Titles include "Flying Easy" and "Weightless" feat Deborah Jordan, "Candy Wrapper", "Walk On Through" and "Perfect Life" feat Princess Fressia, "In Your Eyes" feat Sibel Thrasher, "Can't Hide" feat Darien, "Lifetime" and "So Natural" feat Kia Bennett and more...

Dusty Groove America

The soulful heat coming from across the pond has been keeping our ears nice and toasty with beautiful beats, sultry voices and universal subject matters. UK-based producer extraordinaire, Soulpersona (aka SoulP), has collaborated with a number of talented singers from around the globe. The result is Soulacoaster, a profound LP that captures the essence of soul, jazz, funk, disco and hip hop.

The album features the vocal stylings of Princess Freesia, Darien, Kia Bennett, Sibel Thrasher (from the Roy Ayers Music Project) and a host of other artists who make great additions to your playlist. Soulacoaster was produced virtually--with SoulP's tracks and artists' vocals being transferred via e-mail before being mixed and mastered. "Candy Wrapper" is a sexy, soul-hop single with an irresistible beat and solid performance by Princess Freesia. Her invitation to "make you sweat and sautee" will cause your eyebrow to raise as your inhibitions do the opposite. Be warned, this one is solely for the grown and sexy.

Darien and SoulP deliver an ambient, groovy vibe with "Don't Go." The snare pops and the synths dance in the air with Darien's declaration that he's willing to do what it takes to make love work.

Overall, this project is a sincere voyage through a collective passion for soul music. I encourage you to join the journey when the album drops on October 19th.

This is...expansive, ethereal, cosmic soul. And Soulpersona is originally from from Wales! Well, there's lovely for you! Appealing to fans of 4Hero, our man, Soulpersona, treats our ears to a chilled set of songs that bodes us well for the coming new decade. Exemplifying this further, if you really warmed to the more futuristic, sensual modes of soul on Marva King's latest set (think "Lovely") the you will very much know what you are in for. match to this the more lkeft-field moments from 4Hero (aided and abetted by the legendary Larry Mizell) then sonically you bang this album on the head. I defy anyone with an ounce of soul and sensuality in their body to not seriously dig "Flying Easy" featuring the wispish, seductive Marva King-ish Deborah Jordan. This isn't a cover of the Pete Escovedo classic, but a brand new jam of real note. To be honest, the whole album is a weighty item and well worth your serious consideration. Attracting positive comments from the likes of Oliver Cheatham, Patti Austin and Leon Ware, it will be mere seconds of your listening time to hear exactly why the Legends have such positive things to say about this gentleman.

pastimes thinly into your subconscious...if this song doesn't grab you then shame on you!!! The glorious 70s sounding "Walk On Through" complete with flute is simply delightful, and the brilliant "So Natural" featuring
Come, check out the dirty, sexy groove "Candy Wrapper". Complete with heavy bassline and guitar this could easily be Mtume for the 21st Century. The slinky vocals courtesy of Princess Freesia lays open more sensual, warm and wet feelings, the emphasis on pleasure and tantalisingveiled under the notion of unwrapping a candy. Such naughtiness so early on in a recording. Very promising indeed! The risque lyrics are veiled in metaphor and yet very sexy indeed. No lewdness or filth here, pure imagination only required! Darien appears on the KILLER "Don't Go". Oh, this is SUPERB! A futuristic yet traditional groove that simply flaotsKia Bennett cannot be beaten. The vocal harmonies easily on par with Zhané, this is a great, great tune. Fans of Liquid Spirits or Jazzanova will so feel the rap vibe of "Alright" - an Erykah Badu type of jam, and a strong rap paying homage to the soul greats. It gets no better. "In Your Eyes" pays such homage to the Ubiquitous soul sounds of Roy Ayers / Ramp and works magnificently. The delicious Deborah Jordan again pleases with the summery "Weightless" and Kia Bennet's "Lifetime" adds some real cold chill to proceedings. The closing call, "Imagine" is yet another KILLER that pays homage to the Roy Ayers sound, and draws to a close one of the most essential albums of the moment. Please do not let this homegrown gem slip away.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe